Posted by: hellonhairylegs | January 1, 2009

First Reactions to 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons

They certainly haven’t stinted on the “Yays Random Cleavage!!11!” artwork, but they do get credit for putting two female characters on the Player’s Handbook (ner your gender neutral creature we’re supposed to assume is male).

The only artwork where they reversed the boob trend was with the harpy. This wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

3.5 Harpy
3.5 Harpy
4th Edition Harpy
4th Edition Harpy
 Other than that, the actual game trades some flexibility for ease of play. Races have no penalties, so you can play a dwarven paladin, even if that dwarf now has low-light vision. There are some things I miss already, like long lasting Mage Armour and a freehit Magic Missile. Over all I think it will be better than 3.5 but the unnatural porn poses are squicking me out. Say what you want about Leia’s metal bikini, at least they didn’t pretend it was armour. 
The Patriarch, an AD&D veteran and former high school nerd is the DM. Fellow Spawn 1, whose speciality is computer RPGs is the party warlock while Fellow Spawn 2 is the rogue . Mom, a newbie at D&D is the party spokesperson and paladin (luck of the dice). I get to be the wizard. I’ll talk more about 4th edition once we’ve started playing.  
And to celebrate getting rid of George Dubya, here’s an in-joke found on the internetz.


  1. Hmm.

    They get rid of the gratuitous boobage on the harpy (are harpies even mammals, for that matter?), but couldn’t resist making her prettier, I see.

    Magic Missile no longer an automatic hit? Not sure how I feel about that. In 3.5, I had thought the guaranteed accuracy of Magic Missile was a decent tradeoff for its fairly low damage-dealing capacity. With the auto-hit gone, it seems underpowered compared with, say, Fireball or Lightning Bolt.

  2. Oh, and I have an anecdote on using Charisma as the dump stat! The character in question was a depowered efreeti, functionally equivalent to a Fire Genasi when I started out, then slowly gaining back some of his abilities as he leveled up. He was, objectively speaking, one scary MF: six feet tall, obsidian-black skin, pointy teeth, glowing eyes, minor pyrokinesis, a scimitar and an Epic Bad Attitude. (Yes, as role-played by me, he was using belligerence to compensate for feeling weak). But, due to his CHA score of six, he couldn’t intimidate a commoner, not unless said commoner flubbed his roll and my character had circumstance bonuses.

    I should have played that for comedy more than I did, but I’m too shy to be that much of a role-playing ham.

  3. Haven’t played 4E, but I remember there being a lot of ‘prettification’ going from AD&D to 3E. The halfling gal (Lidda?) was just a slightly smaller scale human babe, where previously you’d expect a halfling to be squat and chubby.

    Anyway, if we’re sharing D&D stories: I was, briefly, a female sorcerer during a high school campaign. Before the game had even started, there was a lengthy discussion – like, about twenty minutes – about how she was going to shave her legs in the dungeon, and I literally wasn’t allowed to start until I’d provided the GM with an acceptable explanation. “Who cares?” and “She’s wearing leggings anyway” didn’t suffice, so I ended up saying I’d use the Alter Self cantrip.

    I GM’d most of the games after that, and got so incredibly sick of interacting with the players that I set all my campaigns during zombie apocalypses and advanced the plot through scraps of papers found on corpses.

  4. “(are harpies even mammals, for that matter?”

    That way lies folly. Do you remember the wank over whether the reptilian Dragonborn should have breasts or not?

  5. I always use Cha as a dump stat (except the time I played a paladin, which is best left forgotten). Thankfully the DM factored in the fact I was a huge half-orc with blood dripping from her sword the one time I made an Intimidate check.

    I feel your pain Richie. When I played with some high school boys you wouldn’t believe the sexist BS I had to put up with (the other female in the group just played an evil mindslayer and killed them all when they annoyed her, which did a lot for the quality of gameplay). After the third time the party was wiped out through infighting I quit.

    I skipped most of the internet stuff in the leadup to 4E and I’ve only just been catching up. After skimming those links I need to find a scrubbing brush and use it on my brain.

  6. I’ll see your Player’s Handbook and raise you World of Warcraft graphics.

    Every single female character on every single loading screen has cleavage — even the undead females — and bikini-like armour. And with each expansion, female waists are getting tinier, like humanoid wasps. They look like they might snap in two.


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